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Brightly Burning Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2001
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About the Author
Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com.
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Some spoilers in this paragraph, read at your own discretion. The characters themselves seem to be all over the place. I lost my respect for Healers in this one. One character was blindly in love with Lavan despite it being impossible for him to return her feelings because he was lifebonded to his Companion, and no matter how often she was told such or how right-before-her-eyes the evidence of this was, she kept pursuing it to the point where it was upsetting herself and Lavan. Then another Healer (the mother of the blindly-in-love one) starts off as this rational person, but when her husband gets attacked and blinded she turns into this hysterical mess who blames herself that she can't heal him right then and there. It was just annoying. I wasn't too fond of the royalty in this book either. Thankfully the rest of the characters were better written, so those were the only real blights in my enjoyment.
For one, the story of Lavan Firestarter - clearly such a focal point in Heraldic lore - would seem to me to need at least two novels to really tell it. Brightly Burning seems shallow and under-developed. I can't get myself to believe in his character. Things happen far too quickly without enough development in the middle.
For another, there's a considerable amount of telling rather than showing. Satiran just announces that Lavan and Kalira are lifebonded? Even if I could let that go as a poorly written scene - there are no concerns from the Heraldic Circle and their Companions about such an odd pairing? And the relationship between Lavan and Kalira seems trite - there are none of the unique undertones that Lackey has shown with some of the better pairs, such as Alberich & Kantor or Vanyel & Yfandes. Even Talia and Rolan have a more solidly developed relationship - and they can't "talk" to each other.
Also, what's the deal with young Herald-Trainee Malken, who clearly ForeSees Lavan's firestorm, but then disappears entirely from the story?
Then there's referring to Lavan's gift as a "dragon"? Lackey has described magical/Heraldic gifts far better.
All-in-all, this reads like an unfinished draft with a significant number of chapters missing from it. It's like a rough outline that still needs to be filled in appropriately.
Most recent customer reviews
I highly recommend reading this one.
Wonderful story. Couldn't put it down. Lavans relationships were very complicated but he overcame